May 04, 2006
Via E-mail & Fax Transmission
May 4, 2006
Honorable Congressman George Radanovich
Subject: “In 1994 Republican Congressmen proposed that the City of San Francisco should pay the federal government $25 million per year, since the city generates an average of $38 million annually from selling hydroelectric power from Hetch Hetchy to other municipalities. California Democrats in Congress killed the proposal” As a native San Franciscan candidate for the 2006 California Senate District 8 race (www.JoinOscar.com), I am re-submitting the rent increase proposal to the Congressional Parks Committee on this 100 year aniversary of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, asking that at least half of the increased rent proceeds is provided “exclusively” for the California Watershed Fire Safe Council's 9/11 ALERT consolidated resource management plan (CRMP) to protect San Francisco Peninsula Watershed ,the natural systems , Hetch Hetchy water resources and the Bay Area economy in perpetuity.
The book's introduction written by Harold Gilliam for Robert Buelteman's photographic masterpiece "The Unseen Peninsula" provides all Californians an opportunity to learn from the fate of the San Francisco Peninsula watershed native Ohlones. As cities sprawl into the countryside, replacing nature with concrete and asphalt, their residents are cut off from the natural world that gives them material and spiritual sustenance. The hills west of the San Francisco Reservoirs are among those very rare places near cities where the watershed natural processes continue as they have for millennia, where bulldozers have made few inroads, where live oaks and laurels and redwoods still provide shelter and forage for deer and raccoons and foxes. Unfortunately, the original human inhabitants, the Ohlones, are gone, but their spirits, bearing messages we need to hear, still walk the watershed. In 1769, the Ohlones, no doubt gazing in amazement at the first Europeans to come this way, little realized that the bearded strangers were on the advance guard of wave after wave of outsiders who would arrive to take over their land and eradicate their way of life. Now, on the dawn of the twenty-first century, we continue to come by the millions to make California our home, although we have strayed afar. If our culture is to survive, if we are to repair the damage done to our California watershed, we need to come home again, to rediscover our roots, to re-create our reverence for the earth and all its forms of life. This is the implicit message of the Ohlones. Californians either heed this lesson of history or we are all destined to go the way of the Ohlones.
California's rich and diverse watersheds have provided us with an exceedingly generous bounty. There are limits to these natural systems, and it is time to return their generosity. As we enter the 21st century, and add 15 million Californians by the year 2020, we need an expanded public/private natural resource investment strategy to restore life supporting habitats and fully protect vital natural systems. The California Watershed Posse (CWP) believes a vision for the twenty first century must recognize that California habitats and natural communities are an integral part of the economic foundation upon which future prosperity depends. Every Californian and visitor has an obligation to promote increased investment in conserving our watershed natural systems, and the life they support, to sustain a strong agricultural economy, growing tourism and recreational industries, healthy communities and a quality of life that attracts the work force that underpins a vibrant economy.
The CWP funds a full array of stewardship services, conducts environmental mitigation studies and habitat conservation planning. The CWP provides training in stewardship and monitoring of the watersheds environmentally sensitive habitat areas and works closely with regulatory agencies to monitor and test local ground water, subsurface soils and run off for toxic pollutants. The CWP has established a coastal rural lands Fire Safe Council consolidated resource management plan (CRMP) to protect the San Francisco Peninsula Watershed natural systems and its Hetch Hetchy water resources and the Bay Area economy in perpetuity.
Alan was just one of many heroes that died that day, but his love of life, family and community required him to do what he had always done, the right thing. The Coastside Watershed Posse will strive to work to preserve his legacy, by protecting Bay Area water quality, maintaining a fire safe healthy watershed, and by doing the right thing for generations to come.
The Watershed Posse knows "Change is inevitable, Survival is not".